Speech by Jerónimo de Sousa, General Secretary of the PCP

On the general elections of October 6, 2019

On the general elections of October 6, 2019

1. The results know so far reflect a balance of forces that is similar to that of 2015, although with changes in the relative positions and electoral strength of the political forces with representation in the Assembly of the Republic [Parliament].

But this does not elude the fact that the current arrangement of forces on an institutional level corresponds to a political context that is different from that of 2015.

It has become clear during these years that important steps were taken in defending, restoring and achieving new rights, after the interruption of the activity of a government and of a policy of national disaster, resulting from the decision that, at the time, was taken by the PCP and the PEV, contributing towards an institutional solution that could ensure that the defeat suffered by the PSD/CDS government in the social and electoral spheres, was accompanied by their political defeat. This foiled the plans that existed to pursue and intensify the offensive that the PECs [Stability and Growth Pacts] and the Aggression Pact [of the EC-ECB-IMF troika] had inscribed as the guideline for the future of the country and of the Portuguese people.

But it has also become clear that the negative measures that were avoided and the advances achieved are not sufficient to ensure the necessary response to the country”s problems and a developed and sovereign Portugal.

The country”s situation and its evolution in recent years, without detracting from the struggle to achieve new advances, raises today, with renewed force, the need to open way to a policy that breaks with essential guidelines of the right-wing policies which the PS has not abandoned and has even, in structural aspects, continued pursuing, despite the limitations imposed by the parliamentary composition of the outgoing Parliament.

What is needed to fully respond to the country”s problems is a break with the interests of big capital, valuing labour and workers as a central goal, and breaking with the submission to the Euro and the impositions of the European Union, asserting our country”s right to a sovereign development.

What is today unpostponable is an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy, which a PS government cannot ensure.

What is necessary is to move forward, not allowing that the rights and income that were achieved and won be again taken away; preventing new backward steps in the labour legislation, the electoral system, or the so-called “structural” reforms which PS and PSD share for numerous areas.

There is nothing to prevent that, as happened for decades and in successive Parliaments, the President of the Republic, having met with the [political] Parties, appoints the Prime Minister, that a government be formed and that it takes office.

It will be as a result of the choices made by the PS, of the budgetary instruments that it presents and of the content of its legislation, that the CDU will determine, as always, its stances. We are tied to our commitments to the workers and the people, determined to struggle against all the negative measures and all the retreats which the PS may wish to impose.
Likewise, we will continue to take the initiative and intervene to ensure that measures that improve the lives of the workers and the people can be adopted, contributing towards everything that represents an advance.

Fulfilling our pledges to the workers and the people, we lay out as immediate goals of struggle, a general increase in wages and in the national minimum wage to 850 euros; an overall and real increase in retirement pensions; the right to a free creche for all children up to the age of three; the right to housing with guarantees for tenants and the construction of public housing; more funds to improve public transportation; more investment that is lacking in the NHS [National Health Service] and in public services; 1% [of the budget] for culture; guarantees of protecting nature, the environment and ecological balances.

2. The result achieved by the CDU - which decreased its electoral expression and the number of elected MPs - is a negative factor for the life of the country in the near future.
We cannot, however, ignore the fact that this result was achieved in a political and ideological context that had already been present in the elections for the European Parliament and which was also reflected in the results that were then obtained.

The CDU”s result is inseparable from an intense and prolongued operation targetting it, based on lies, slander and the promotion of prejudice, which seeked to not just belittle and denigrate the CDU, as it methodically favoured other political forces, and amplified elements of distortion and mystification or the role and action of the PCP and the PEV in the phase which the country”s political life underwent during the outgoing Parliament.

Only the scale of the election campaign that was built by the militant commitment of the CDU activists; only the clear recognition of our activity and the trust placed on those who do not betray commitments; only the profound links and rooting of the CDU forces among the workers and the people have allowed, in the current context, to prevent the electoral erosion from reaching levels that some had proclaimed to be inevitable, and overcome the powerful campaigned unleashed by the centres of monopoly capital and the tools at its disposal.
With this CDU result, the interests of the workers and the peoples will be less protected, and the prospects to defend and win advances in rights and incomes, which had been won with the CDU”s decisive contribution, will decrease.

The CDU will be present, as always, honouring its commitments with the workers and the people, strengthening their struggle, counting upon the mobilization of all, even of those who did not understand that what was truly decisive in these elections was to strengthen the CDU. Sooner, rather than later, they will understand that this is the force upon which they can count.

The CDU and its constituent forces are and will be present, to confront the projects of enhanced exploitation; to defend rights, with the workers and the people; to contribute to the struggle which can block steps backward and contribute to a better life.

It will, as always, be the struggle of the workers and the people that will be called upon to prevent retreats and contribute to move forward.

3. In these elections we must note the significant loss registered by the PSD and CDS, which adds to their defeat in the 2015 elections. It is inseparable from the reaffirmed condemnation of their recent responsibilities in the policy of social retreat and economic decline that they imposed upon the country. But this does not, in itself, mean that the projects associated with the right-wing policies and its agenda, have been defeated.

As the CDU always underscored and warned, the path of advances in rights and the struggle against retreats required, not just the denial of an absolute majority for the PS, but also, and equally decisive, a stronger CDU and more weight for its MPs.

4. CDU greets the many thousands of Portuguese who, with their vote, have given a decisive contribution to the campaign of awareness-raising and mobilization for the vote in the CDU.
To all those who took the step of transforming their support and recognition for the CDU”s legacy of seriousness and coherence into a vote, and namely to all those who did so for the first time, we reaffirm out permanent commitment to honour our word, acting in defense of the workers and the peoples, of their rights and aspirations.
They may all count with the CDU to be at their side in defense of their interests and in securing a better future.

The CDU greets the thousands of activists who, side by side with the candidates, built a campaign of awareness-raising and mobilization which contributed to build the CDU”s result. A campaign which helped to elevate the workers” and people”s consciousness to face the many struggles which will ensure that we do not move backwards, to resist the attempts at new offensives against rights and to continue the struggle to build a patriotic and left-wing alternative policy, which can guarantee a Portugal with a future.